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The Youth Employment Initiative was proposed by the 7-8 February 2013 European Council with a budget of €6 billion for the period 2014-20.
The Youth Employment Initiative would particularly support young people not in education, employment or training in the Union's regions with a youth unemployment rate in 2012 at above 25% by integrating them into the labour market.
The money under the Youth Employment Initiative would therefore be used to reinforce and accelerate measures outlined in the December 2012 Youth Employment Package. In particular, the funds would be available for EU countries to finance measures to implement in the eligible regions the Youth Guarantee Recommendation agreed by the EU's Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers on 28 February. Under the Youth Guarantee, Member States should put in place measures to ensure that young people up to age 25 receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.
The Youth Employment Initiative would be complementary to other projects undertaken at national level, including those with European Social Fund (ESF) support, with a view to setting up or implementing the youth guarantee schemes, such as reforming the relevant institutions and services.
Of the funding, €3 billion would come from a dedicated Youth Employment budget line complemented by at least €3 billion more from the ESF. Given Member States' current budgetary difficulties due to the economic crisis, only the European Social Fund contribution would require Member States to top up with their own financial contribution.